Another Tack: Worse is infinitely better

Israel Arab citizens demand the benefits of citizenship while unwilling to partake in the burdens of it.

Deep inside - even if our incorrigibly liberal souls prohibit us from admitting it - most of us know the score. We know that Israel's own Arab population identifies with this country's genocidal foes, and that given a smidgen of an opportunity, it would avidly join forces with them to destroy us. Exceptional moderates may marginally exist but they're few, decreasing in number and beset by radicals all around them - by whom they are routinely intimidated, who continually brainwash their children and who customarily practice the worse-is-better maxim to the max. Examples abound. The most innocuous revolve around the reluctance of Arab local authorities to collect municipal taxes. Indulgent officials thereby automatically garner instant popularity. No one likes the revenuer and, when wrapped in a nationalistic/Islamic ideology, this antipathy becomes irresistible. The notion of not paying what the "Zionist system" requires - and then demanding that reviled Jewish taxpayers foot the bills for Arab tax dodgers - makes sense to those who preach incessantly that Israel is illegitimate, that its very existence is an injustice, that its birth was a nakba, a catastrophe Arabs brazenly equate with the Holocaust (in which they quite enthusiastically collaborated under the leadership of their still-revered then-head honcho Haj Amin el-Husseini. He spent WWII as Hitler's personal guest in Berlin, making sure no Jew escaped extermination). Not playing along and not paying is low-key rebellion. Not only don't some citizens contribute to the system, but they additionally practice inconspicuous sabotage by squeezing all they can out of it. Any incremental debilitation of the abhorred Zionists counts, no matter how ostensibly small. The upshot is that Israeli Arabs cut off their noses to spite their faces. Without their own income, Arab municipalities are bound to fail. Going broke and then expecting the government to bail them out is their calculated policy. But inter alia, schools get into a shoddy state, sewage and garbage aren't disposed of properly, sanitation is appalling, city employees are unpaid and the Jew next door - though taxed to his eyeballs - is eyed resentfully (despite the fact that the ultra-luxurious villas that fill Arab localities would make the Jewish population green with envy). Lavish indoors and sumptuous private spaces contrast with squalid outdoors and derelict public spaces in Israel's Arab sector. The very Arab politicians who deliberately prevent progress inevitably seize upon self-inflicted dilapidation as evidence of discrimination. In the worse-is-infinitely-better tradition, the more they convince their electorate that they're wronged, the more votes Arab candidates rake in. The greater the instability, the more profit they reap - both in real and propaganda terms. HENCE, AT the outset of each new school-year, we're treated to a rerun of an annual pageant. Each September the Arab sector threatens to keep schools shut to protest alleged inequity. Each September it's incumbent upon Jews to consider themselves blameworthy. The Hebrew media sympathetically resonate and amplify Arab misinformation. This cant has concomitantly become the trendy patter among some Jewish political parties, fishing for Arab votes in devil-may-care disregard of the terrifying bottom-line consequences. Short-term benefit outweighs long-term responsibility. Even our children are taught to feel guilty. Political correctness ad absurdum is imposed on public-school curricula. A few years ago, when my daughter started another high-school term, her history teacher waxed melodramatic about the "poor Arab children who cannot begin their studies today." She then had each pupil expound on what he/she wishes his/her Arab counterparts. The chorus of honeyed cliches appeared unanimous; the kids sensed what their teacher expected. My daughter, however, was thrown unceremoniously out of class because she dared heretically wish Israeli-Arabs "exactly what they wish me." When these same Arab teen-counterparts rioted in October 2000, pulling Jewish drivers from their vehicles and viciously beating them, my daughter's principal gathered his impressionable charges and launched into a long speech justifying Arab wrath as prejudice-spawned. His clueless audience had little option but to take his words at face value. Such is the merciless left-wing indoctrination to which our largely helpless society is unremittingly subjected. Arabs, even if more affluent than ourselves, are regarded as the underdogs we oppress by just daring to breathe here. We owe them - a priori, without examination or critical thought. That's why President Shimon Peres averted the ritual school closure by blithely promising beefed-up education budgets to the very Arab mayors who single-mindedly neglect their schools. That's also why he reduced the sentences of 14-year-old Danny Katz's five murderers (two of whom also raped and murdered 19-year-old Daphna Carmon). So what if their convictions were upheld in numerous appeals, a retrial and exhaustive Supreme Court reviews? This is no trifling detail. It's the very Supreme Court which unfailingly sides with Arab litigants like Adel Ka'adan, who insisted on relocating to Jewish National Fund land purchased specifically for Jewish settlement with donations made for over a century by often-penniless idealistic Jews the world over. Ka'adan's campaign was vehemently supported by the head of the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch, Raed Sallah, who seditiously provokes violence and sponsors the devastation of Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount. But Ka'adan spoke softly, only claiming his "due," like the Arab school administrators. He fooled lots of people, though in November 2000, in an interview with California's prestigious Web site, he called Israel a "Nazi country" with an "apartheid system... a racist militaristic country that takes away people's rights." He garnished his pronouncements with what the correspondent described as "an anti-Semitic diatribe against Jews who plague the world 'like a cancer.'" Malignancy must be excised, but neither our president nor justices nor teachers allow such bothersome incidentals to interfere with their uber-enlightened agenda of Jewish culpability.